Medical Certification Requirements

Federal regulations require that every commercial learner permit (CLP) holder or driver license (CDL) holder must certify to the type of commercial driving they currently perform (or expect to perform).

  • these requirements will affect all drivers who have, or apply for a commercial driver license (CDL)
  • a USDOT Medical Examiner's Certificate will be required for some types of driving and must be submitted to DMV before your current certification expires
  • you will lose your commercial driving privileges if you do not comply

The DMV will send CDL/CLP holders a "Notice of Non-Compliance and License Downgrade" if their medical certification status becomes "Not Certified." Once we send the notification, DMV will cancel the CDL/CLP if the CDL/CLP holder does not submit an updated Medical Examiners Certificate (MCSA-5876) within 55 days. We can send employers a notification of these status changes if they subscribe to the NY State License Event Notification Service (LENS). We will send passenger carriers enrolled in the 19-A system notifications of CLP cancellation events.


Certification and driving types

If you have a commercial driver license, Class A, B or C or CDL permit issued by the NY State DMV you must certify the type of driving you do anytime you perform a license transaction (other than an address change, or duplicate license). You will be required to choose only one driving type from the four federal driving types listed below.

You must also keep a current USDOT Medical Examiners Certificate on file with DMV if you self-certify to a Non-Excepted Driving type (NA or NI).


The four federal driving types

Non-Excepted Interstate (NI)

Commercial driving operation is permitted across state lines, and you are required to meet the Federal medical requirements.

Non-Excepted Intrastate (NA)

Commercial driving operation is restricted to New York State only, and you are required to meet the Federal medical requirements.

Excepted Interstate (EI)

Commercial driving operation is permitted across state lines for excepted operation only and you are exempt from the Federal medical requirements.

  • you must be age 18 or older (21 or older when noted for certain excepted operations)
  • you must have an A3 (Med Cert Exempt) restriction on your driver license
  • you must not have a K (CDL Intrastate Only) restriction on your driver license

Excepted Intrastate (EA)

Commercial driving operation is restricted to New York State, permitted for excepted operation only and you are exempt from the Federal medical requirements.


How to obtain a USDOT Medical Examiners Certificate

You must get a USDOT physical performed by a medical examiner listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) National Registry. To find an approved medical examiner, you can either search the FMCSA website by zip code, or call FMCSA at (202) 366-4001 and ask to speak to a representative. Once your physical is complete, the medical examiner will give you a Medical Examiners Certificate (Form MCSA-5876). To avoid a downgrade or cancellation of your CDL/CLP, you must take this certificate to the DMV when you apply for your CLP/CDL, or fax/email it to the NY State DMV Medical Certification Unit. (See important reminders below.)


How to confirm that the Medical Certificate is on my driving record

DMV will send notifications regarding CDL/CLP downgrade/cancellation events to passenger carriers enrolled in the 19-A system. Drivers can also monitor their own CLP/CDL medical certification status by creating an account through MyDMV. There is no fee to check your medical certification status.


Drivers with a HAZMAT (H) or Hazmat/Tank (X) endorsement

You are only eligible for the HazMat or Hazmat/Tank Endorsement if you are age 21 or older and you meet the Federal medical requirements.


Medical variances and new "V" restriction

If your USDOT Medical Examiner's Certificate indicates "must be accompanied by a Diabetic, Hearing, Seizure or Vision waiver exemption or an SPE Certificate," you must have a Medical Variance issued by FMCSA.



Important reminders:

  • Verify that your address is current on DMV records. 
  • If you select NA or NI as your driving type, you must send in a photocopy of your USDOT Medical Examiner's Certificate to the Medical Certification Unit, prior to the expiration date of the USDOT Medical Examiners Certificate on file with DMV.
  • Medical Certification Unit Contact Information:
    Fax: 518-486-4421 or 518-486-3260
    Email: dmv.sm.cdlmedcertunit@dmv.ny.gov
    Mail to:

    NYS DMV
    Medical Certification Unit
    PO Box 2601
    Albany, NY  12220-0601

  • Photocopied USDOT Medical Examiner's Certificate must be legible, complete and on one side of a standard 8½" x 11" sheet of paper
  • If you have a Medical Variance, you must keep it current with the FMCSA.
  • The DMV will not remind you when your USDOT Medical Examiner's Certificate or Medical Variance is about to expire.
  • Important: If you fail to maintain current, updated information with the DMV, you will lose your commercial driving privileges.


Useful links:

Enroll in MyDMV

For federal definitions of the four driving types, visit the FMCSA web site.

National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners